Gluten-free Chili Mac (dairy-free & keto option)
This Gluten-free Chili Mac is a super easy dinner that the whole family will love! It comes together in one pan, and has a dairy-free option too!
I am always looking for easy healthy meals like our Pakistani Kima, Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets, Low Carb Shepherd's Pie, Homemade Hamburger Helper, and Oven Barbecued Chicken. and this One Pan Egg Roll in a Bowl.
So you know I was thrilled to get this Healthy Chili Mac Recipe from Tessa of Tessa Domestic Diva. I love Tessa's selection of healthy, attractive, and special diet friendly recipes (she's got a beautiful site as well.) I hope you enjoy this post by Tessa as she shares with us some quick, easy, and healthful options for getting dinner on the table---FAST!
I can’t tell you how many times people around me have lamented how they wish they had more time to cook and put wholesome dinners down for their family every night.
Regardless of your time constraints: it IS possible.
The key is pre-planning and picking the right recipes that cook quickly or in a crock-pot while you’re away managing your busy day.
Take a moment to organize yourself! You will be saving yourself loads of money AND eating more healthy, wholesome foods than the grab and go fare you find in most grocery stores.
Best of all, you get to control what goes into your food. Let me show you how! With a little practice, this process of pre-planning should not take more than 30 minutes (unless you’re like me and adore pouring through recipe sources for pleasure!)
Tips for Easy Meals
1. I have a post on how to menu plan to help you learn how to get the ball rolling.
2. Check your pantry, fridge, and freezer to take stock of items that need to be used up.
3. Pick your recipes. Avoid recipes that have long cooking times or loads of prep work, save these for weekend cooking when you may have more time.
4. Make a grocery list. Whatever recipes you pick, make a corresponding grocery list to pick up the things you do not already have on hand. As I mentioned in my above menu-planning post, I keep pre-printed grocery lists on hand for this. I group the foods I need by type and have them on my list in the order I hit them in my favorite store.
5. Grocery shop with your list in hand. STICK TO IT to ensure you are only spending money on items you’ll use. We do this as a family (even with all the "bumps" shopping with kids entails). You may prefer to do it alone. An organized list helps you move through the store efficiently, and I give my older kids jobs to help the process.
6. Enjoy your newfound health and freedom! It feels good to feed your family well, and it is entirely possible and worth it. Less stress is better for your body too…but I didn’t need to tell you that, did I?!
Here are some quick and easy recipes to get you started.
- For tips on peeling garlic, see the Easiest Way to Peel Garlic.
- I used diced tomatoes, but pureed them w/ my immersion blender first. The puree hides the big chunks of tomatoes that my kids won’t eat.
- Here are some tips for making bone broth. This Homemade Veggie Broth works as well. If you'd prefer to buy broth, this company has amazing broth.
- For gluten-free noodles, I really love Tinkyada Brown Rice Elbows. Use veggie noodles, spaghetti squash or these noodles for a low-carb option.) Trader Joe's brown rice pasta is also quite good.
- TIP: Add any additional vegetables to this. I bet bell peppers, carrots, spinach, or cabbage would all be good!
- If you would like to top with garnishes, avocado slices, pickled jalapeños, hot sauce, fresh lime, shredded cabbage are all great options.
- Grain-free Option: can be made grain-free using Konjac or another grain-free noodle.
Can I make this with regular pasta and if so, do I need to adjust the amount of liquid?
Gluten free pasta tends to absorb more water than regular, but I see other non gluten free chili mac recipes that use even less liquid than this one and I have made this recipe with regular pasta and it turned out just fine.
Healthy Chili Mac (gluten free)
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 1 onion (finely diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 pound ground beef (or any ground meat)
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 14.5 ounces canned tomatoes (pureed or crushed; about 1 can)
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 tablespoon chili powder (or to taste)
- 2 1/2 cups gluten-free elbow pasta (uncooked)
- 1/2 cup dairy-free cheddar cheese (or favorite cheddar; omit for paleo. This DF Cheddar Powder looks like a great option.)
- Preheat a 10-12" skillet with a tight fitting lid over medium heat.
- Add the oil.
- Add the onions and saute until soft, about 3-5 minutes.
- Crumble the ground meat and add in the garlic, stirring to break the meat up.
- When browned, add in tomato paste, canned tomatoes, beef broth, oregano, and chili powder. Stir to combine.
- Mix in the noodles. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cover. Cook until the noodles are al dente, about 7-10 minutes. The noodles will continue to soak up liquid as it sits, so don’t worry if it seems thin at first.
- Stir in cheddar shreds until melted. Serve with preferred garnishes.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
More Quick and Easy Meals:
Quick & Easy 2 Ingredient Pulled Pork
Warm Chicken BLT Salad
"Clean Out the Fridge Pasta"
(use vegetable noodles for a low carb dish)
Easy and Yummy Bean Dip
(everyone asks for this recipe -- not low carb but delicious!)
Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets
(ready in as little as 9 minutes - not low carb)
What is YOUR favorite super quick meal?
Honestly loved this recipe ! We made it without the cheese sauce and was very good however I’ve seen many people ask about the DF cheese sauce. Me and my wife highly recommend this one we found while making vegan stuffed peppers:
So glad you liked it! Yes, I'm hoping to have a DF cheese sauce here soon but gosh so little time! I have another cheesy sauce done--need to post it - stay tuned and thanks again for the kind words.
Great recipe, very yummy!
Would this work if I threw it in the crockpot on low??
From the little I know about this I think it will work - try it and let me know!
Our Costco has begun selling Banza Chickpea Macaroni and Cheese. We just don't use the dairy cheese powder (if you can eat dairy, it's tasty!) and we love it! The pasta holds up really well and tastes great! Highly recommended if you can find it.
Nice! I think I noticed that brand in another setting about 2 weeks ago. One question--I think I checked and it's not non GMO or organic, correct? My only concern is that even w/ non GMO garbanzos, that they are often sprayed with glyphosate as a ripening or dessicating agent. I guess contacting the company about that would be the best course of action. Have you tried Tinkyada or Trader Joe's?
It is non-GMO Project certified though not organic. It does have xanthan gum and tapioca for those who may be sensitive. It's also kosher.
I did see that - I checked out 2 brands at the time, but couldn't remember which. Unfortunately it might still have glyphosate on it so not great. So upsetting!!!! I have some organic garbanzo pasta but haven't tried it yet.
Hi! I have never did the gluten free "one pot" pasta recipes. Primarily because gluten free pasta cooking ends up with an not so appetizing water and it made me nervous that cooking it all together would make the broth funny. What gf pasta did you use? Or am I just overthinking it. Thanks!
Hi there. I'm so sorry! What brand did you use? I just checked and for some reason the link in the recipe wasn't the best one...sorry about that! I put in a link to a really good brand so hopefully that helps! I also love Trader Joe's Brown Rice pasta which is now mentioned in the post. Hope that helps and that it works out for you!
I would like to follow your blog and can't find a link for that. Please advise.
Hi Courtney! Thanks so much -- really appreciate you wanting to follow me. If you can tell me if you are on mobile or desktop, that would help b/c I want to make sure it's obvious how to do that. There should be a bar at the top of each post that you can opt in to to get my Easy Healthy Eating Guide - that will do it. There's also one in the sidebar (on desktop) and below the posts. I can try to get another one in there too - but yes, hope that helps and let me know what type of device you are on so I can make it more obvious - thanks again and hope to see you around. I have a Healthy Living Group on Facebook too if you'd like to join there:
Thanks for your quick reply. I am using a laptop (MacBook Pro). I saw the popups that asked if I wanted your free guide or five tips, etc. I guess that is what you are referring to. I wasn't looking for a guide or free tips, I simply wanted to follow your blog and was looking for a way to simply sign up to follow. I would recommend you put a box on every landing page that simply says "sign up for my blog." I look forward to trying your DF and Egg Free recipes. Thanks!
Thank you so much for this message. I just put something to the end in the sidebar optin and I'm going to put some new things in as well....super helpful! I hope to have more recipes really soon! I am getting more help with the blog so I can generate more quicker! Thanks for your interest and encouragement!
The cheese powder you suggested has milk as the first ingredient. That’s not dairy free. As family managing multiple food allergies, I was excited to try one of my husband’s favorites, but so disappointed to see it’s not actually safe for all of us.
Hi there! Thanks for the heads up! Not sure how that happened! You can of course, as the recipe indicates use any kind of DF cheddar (or other type of cheese as you would like) but I have fixed the link and put in another link for another option for you as well.So hope you like it and thanks again!
Yes, it should read non-dairy cheese. Can you recommend a brand that is tasty?
I haven't tried that many but Follow Your Heart is one we liked. However, I have seen some poor reviews of it as well. I just found this powder---looks really interesting and I like the brand.
We've recently discovered the follow your heart brand and the taste is far superior to Daiya. It also melts into casseroles and even pizza. It does have rice flour and xanthan gum for those who are paleo or may be sensitive to those ingredients to know.
Adrienne, the link leads to a cheese powder. It is not dairy free, just gluten free. I just thought I'd clarify that if others need to be dairy free like us.
Thanks for the recipe!
Hello there! I did try that once and we liked it! I just edited that link and added another link to another cheese option as well. Thanks for the heads up. I really have no idea how that happened! I did notice that when you search "dairy free cheddar cheese" or "vegan cheese powder" on Amazon, that comes up - so again, I don't know who put the link in there or if it changed as could happen (they sometimes have a different item put in for the same link) but it's fixed now. Thanks and hope you like it!
This was great. I used ground turkey instead of beef and it was flavorful. Also, I haven’t found any dairy cheese that tastes good, so I left that out.
So glad you liked it! We haven't made this in forever. Time to remedy that! You mean you haven't found a non-dairy cheese that you like, correct?
Do you cook the noodles before adding them to browned beef mixture or add them in uncooked?
Hi there. I just updated the post to make it more clear. You add them uncooked. Hope you like it!
didn't read all the details and subs on this one but would nutritional yeast work for paleo? and some zucchini noodles?? Looking forward to many more brilliant recipes and discoveries from Your exceptional brain and heart young lady!!
Hi there! Yes, you can do that and yes zucchini noodles are a great idea. Your encouragement has meant so much. I think you'll really like this recipe! Please let me know how it goes.
Do you have a recommendation for dairy-free shredded cheddar? The few dairy free cheeses I have tried my family did not like.
I have not - sorry about that! We don't buy processed df cheeses. I hope to work on a DIY one though!
I buy but shirataki noodles from vitacost and buy there label so much cheaper and since we now love them so. Found that the best way is to rinse longer salt the water you cook them in like you would with real pasta and cooker longer then paskage says, also when you drain them and cook in dry skillet also cook longer then put in soup or dress with your fave sauce delish.Great for carbonara.
Looks yummy! I am working on menu planning so I will have to go check out your tips!
Your link to the warm chicken BLT salad is not working. Would love to have that recipe.
Fixed - thanks!